What Size Salt System Will I Need For My Pool

I have a 43,000 gallon pool with sand filter. There is 6 people in my family and sometimes they have friends over. Highest use is on the weekends with small amount of use during the week. We have horrible city water.

I have been told by different pool companies I need the 40 gallon size salt system, but I wonder if that would be strong enough?

Any help would be wonderful. I can not afford to be wrong on the purchase.


Griffin, Georgia

Thanks for the question

The size of the pool is not as important as chlorine demand for the pool. This means how much the pool is being used and how much chlorine the pool needs in order to kill the bacteria and organic matter while still holding the acceptable range of 1.5 - 3.5ppm.

Some chlorine generators can be misleading and you need to look at the actual amount of chlorine that can be generated with each model. to the best of my knowledge the ratings for many models for output are around 0.3 - 0.4 ppm FC per hour. This is at 100% output for a 24 hour pump run time period.

The CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorinator and Pentair IntelliChlor IC60 Salt Chlorinator are good choices. These treat up to 60,000 gallons. You want to go a bit bigger and have the option of dialing it down instead of having one that's too small and running it at 90 - 100% to keep up with the chlorine demand.

The models mentioned above are just my opinions and are not the only models available.

I'd encourage you to choose a model that best suits your needs and particular situation but always go a little bigger.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Chlorine Generator/Salt Cell" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

Contact Me


Hope this helps.


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How To Choose A Salt Water Chlorine Generator

by Ricky

How do I know what size salt water chlorine generator I need for my pool.

I have a thirty three foot by four and a half foot round above ground.

I am thinking about switching to salt.

Thanks for the question Ricky

Salt water chlorine generators (SWG) do come in sizes, but you need to get one that can handle the size of your pool. Your focus should be on the gallon size of your pool which is about 23,000 gallons. You will typically need 0.04 lbs/day output per 1000 gallons of water.

You always want to go over-sized, rather than under. This way you can dial the SWG down instead of always keeping it cranked up. This will save in the life of the cell. You can expect to pay anywhere from $700 - $1500 for a good cell.

Most SWG for above ground pools can accommodate less water than in ground pool salt cells. Chlorinators for above ground pools can be installed on the inner pool wall. Others are installed directly into your filtration system.

Before you make your purchase, you'll need to ask about your pool’s salt to gallon ratio. The manufacturer of the salt cell should have this information readily available.

Remember that most people get a salt pool for one or a combination of two reasons: the feel of the water is better and the convenience of not needing to add chlorine. Also, when water gets splashed out and evaporates the salt is left behind. It can eat away at most anything.

Once a month I had to take my pressure washer and spray the deck at the Y salt pool. The lifeguards are also required to spray the deck each night. If they don't the salt will eventually eat through the concrete and cause pitting.

Salt is corrosive so keep that in mind.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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How To Choose The Right Size Salt Water Generator..Cell

by Don
(Islip, New York)

I am having a new inground pool installed and I am concerned that the salt water generator is the wrong size.

My pool is a straight backed Kidney shape 20 width x 18 width x 36 length the deep end is 8ft in the 18 width and the shallow end is 3.5 in the 20 width.

My pool installer set me up with the Hayward aqua rite salt chlorination system, with a turbo cell-9 for pools up to 25000 gallons.

I am calculating my pool to be 26548 gallons 1548 gallons more than the turbo cell is rated for.

Is this ok or should I ask for the bigger rated cell for pools up to 40000 gallons

Thank you

This is a great question Don

One size does not fit all for salt water generators. They use both high voltage and high amperage outputs.

It's important when you're choosing a salt chlorinator/generator to have a larger unit for your pool.

A salt generator/chlorinator that is larger can be dialed back to run for less time each day, making the cell last longer.

A salt cell that is too small might mean pool algae problems or green water later on if you don't run it for longer periods each day or add extra chlorine on a regular basis.

It will strain to keep up on the chlorine demand.

An example is a Corvette is meant to cruise at 120MPH.

You can run a VW Beetle up to 120MPH but it will be straining. It's better to have a Corvette.

Pool Chlorine Generator

There are two things that are very important concerning a salt pool, each of them are equally important. They are:

Salinity level

Calcium hardness level

Be sure you get a salt meter and test the pool weekly.

The one I use at the YMCA for our salt pool is a Myron Analog Salinity Meter. We get ours from TMI Salt Pure.

A picture can be found on this page:

Salt Water Swimming Pools

Don't simply rely on your salt chlorinator to give you an accurate salinity reading.

It needs to be tested against a manual reading so you know that you'll have the correct amount of salt for your system to run properly.

I know a place that had a salt pool but they didn't manually test the water salinity.

They relied on simply pushing a button on the chlorinator to give them the salt reading.

Long story short, the salt cell burned up.

You need to calibrate the salt meter monthly. TMI has salinity solution that is already at 3000ppm salinity.

They can tell you the proper way to calibrate the salt meter.

Be sure to keep your calcium hardness is check.

If it's too high the cell will develop calcium deposits on the inside which will shorten the life of the cell.

I keep the Y pool between 150ppm - 250ppm calcium hardness and it works very well.

Normally, the high amperage output of the cell might add between 500 to 1000 watts per day, or 1.0 KW to 1.5 KW, to your monthly electric bill.

At 11 cents per watt, this will equate to between $5 to $11 every month.

The short of it is this:

Get an over-sized salt chlorine generator and dial it back.

Hope this helps


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Which Is The Best Brand Of Salt Water Chlorinator?..Salt Cell..

by Faz

I would like to know which is the best brand of salt water chlorinator.

My pool is about 30 gallons.



Thanks for the question Faz

There are many really good salt chlorinators on the market. To give you the perfect answer with such little information is like saying what's the best vehicle.

It really depends on your wants and needs. Do you have a long commute? Are you going to tow anything?

Same thing with a salt cell. How long do you plan on running it? Is it for heavy or light use?

What I can do is give you some information from personal experience.

Hayward and Pentair have very good salt pool chlorine generators. We have a Hayward for the 1,000 gallon hot tub at the YMCA. It seems pretty bullet proof and it runs 24/7.

If you go on any websites you'll see things like:

"Convenient and Simple Operation"


"Superior Algae Control without Algaecides"


"Gives You Perfect Water".

Well, they all say that.

This is what you want to look for:

1. A forgiving range for the salt

The Hayward for the hot tub has a range of 3000 - 4800ppm salinity. Our old Cloromatic had a range of 3000 - 3500ppm. You want one with a wide range because it's easier to manage.

2. Easy cleaning

You can unscrew and take out the chlorinating fins without removing the entire system from the plumbing. The canister stays in place. This makes cleaning much easier.

3. Get a salt cell that a little bit bigger for your pool

This way you can dial it down to where you need it. If you undersize it the unit will be straining to try to keep up, especially during heavy use time.

4. Good customer service

The company I've been dealing with for 3 1/2 years is TMI Salt Pure based in WA state. They're very good and are able to deal with any issues that come up.

I would encourage you to get a Myron salinity meter to calibrate the salt in the pool to the salt cell. Don't simply rely on pushing a button on the cell and think everything is fine. The salinity needs to be manually checked as well.

Salt Water Swimming Pools

Chlorine Generator

5. Self cleaning

The polarity runs on the opposite side every hour or so. This means that when one side is producing chlorine the other side is being cleaned.

TMI also has salinity water that's calibrated at 3000ppm. This is to test the meter and dial it in correctly.

Hope this helps and good luck with your salt pool


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Filling Fiberglass Pool & Salt Chlorinator

by Tshabalala
(South Africa)

Does it matter to fill the pool with water say 10 days after they completed the fibre glass?

What are the advantages of using salt chlorinator?

Hello and thanks for the question

I'm not aware of any reason why you can't fill the pool after 10 days. Most fiberglass pools have a protective gel coatings on them so you should be alright. When in doubt you can also ask the manufacturer of the pool.

Concerning salt pools and salt water generators (SWG) there are some benefits. First, here are a couple of good pages:

Salt Water Swimming Pools

Chlorine Generator

And there are many answered questions on the pool Q&A page in the salt pool and chlorine generator categories:

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

An advantage of a salt cell is you don't need to add chlorine, it's done for you, but salt needs to be added to the pool. The added salt makes the water feel better and softer.

Remember a salt pool is NOT a chemical free or chlorine free pool. You're still using hypochlorous acid, which is chlorine. Salt is acidic and can erode decorative rocks or landscaping you have. Flagstone is very susceptible to this. Salt is very inexpensive, but so is chlorine. A good salt cell can run around $500 - $1000.

Most people use SWG for the convenience. Other than that, and softer water, there's really no benefit. The chlorine isn't any "stronger" or "better" than regular liquid chlorine.

Hope this answers your question and have a great day.


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